A routine security check at Denpasar Airport in Bali on Friday ended up saving a tiny life.
As a traveler’s bags went through an X-ray scanner, security officers spotted a tiny body inside one of the suitcases. They pulled the bags aside to search, and sure enough, there
was someone curled up inside his luggage.
It was a fuzzy baby orangutan, fast asleep inside a basket, almost like a human baby.
The tiny animal had been stolen from the wild to be sold as a pet, but luckily, the officers’ instincts saved his life. The suitcase also contained allergy pills, two geckos and five lizards, authorities said.
While the little animal was clearly stolen from the wild and drugged, he was found in time before going off to a life of mistreatment.
With only about 100,000 total orangutans surviving worldwide, both Sumatran and Bornean orangutans are endangered species that depend on each individual.
While it’s unclear if this young ape will be able to return to the wild after being rehabilitated, he is currently being cared for at the Bali Natural Resources Conservation Agency to give him the best chances for release.
Wildlife experts are often successful in reintegrating orphaned orangutans into monitored areas of forest in Indonesia, and with any luck, this little guy will be there in a couple of years.